Common Council has been given the report on the affordability of protective services by the city manager and it shows police and fire have had large wage increases in the last 10 years, with a first class constable now earning $29,000 more per year than in 2004, a first class fire fighter $22,200 more per year since then.
The New Brunswick Police Association's Bob Davidson says instead of attacking those wages the council should be fighting for more fair taxation by getting the province to remove the exemption on taxing heavy equipment and machinery which he claims would generate $20 million per year in additional taxes for the city.
Mayor Don Darling says he's hearing from people who say they can't afford to live in the city anymore and will move out if need be.
The Mayor says Saint Johnners who make $20, $30 or even $40,000 a year are being asked to pay for the costs of people making in some cases three times that amount.
Darling told reporters, after the meeting, the two unions were offered wage increases of eight percent over four years and they both turned it down flat.